Monsignor Bonner Catholic High School student Derrick Jones is facing charges after catfishing more than 100 young men.
District Attorney Jack Whelan announced the arrest of 18-year-old Jones on Thursday. The Pennsylvania high school senior is currently facing charges for child pornography and other related offenses.
Jones created fake accounts to sexually exploit several boys.
According to Whelan, Jones had a created a fake female persona by the name of “Haley.” The personal is actually based on a real girl named Haley whose identity was stolen by Jones. He used the said identity to “solicit images and videos of sexual nature” from boys in local middle schools and high schools. So far, the investigation into the case has led to the discovery as many as 136 local victims. Among these victims, investigators identified 60 as local males.
Jones reportedly used a number of platforms to exploit his victims, including Instragram, WeChat, Snapchat and Kik. Investigators discovered this when they tracked his IP address. Some of the usernames included “Vibelah” and “Yelahvibez.” He posed as a teenage female and asked his victims to send nude photos of themselves. The moment he obtained nude photos from them, NBC 10 reports that Jones posted these photos on several fake accounts to extort more nude photos from them. He also reportedly sent one of the graphic images to the victim’s family in order to shame him. At the same time, Jones also allegedly threatened to blackmail his victims if they decide to cut off contact with him.
Victims thought they were communicating with a real girl named Haley all along.
Meanwhile, the victims told investigations they believed they were sending images and videos to a teenage girl. They were completely unaware that they had been sending them to Jones.
“This case serves as a reminder that we, as parents need to be talking to our kids about social media and about sending images and videos of themselves,” Whelan remarked. “You don’t always know who you’re really communicating with online and through texts and once you hit that send button it’s out of your control.”
Jones has been charged with manufacturing child pornography, possession of child pornography, corruption of minors, stalking and other crimes. According to a report from the New York Post, he is set to appear in court on May 31.